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Deliciousness for Sale at the Mind Body Expo May 15th, 2016 Boca Raton

15 Apr

Please join me on Sunday May 15th at YMCA in Boca Raton, Florida.(rescheduled from March) I will be an exhibitor telling people about Helen’s Home Cooking and  Catering.

I will be bringing along several of my most popular gluten free desserts.   Peanut Butter Cookies, Lemon Pecan Crisps and Brownies (maybe marshmallow fluff marble) The desserts will be available for sale.  Everything is home made!

Let me know that you came because of the blog. There is a cookie in it for you.

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2 kokosh made by Chef Helen (sorry not gluten free)

3 Tips to Make Pasover Easy and Avoid the Expensive Stuff!

13 Apr

For many years I heard the complaints and gave in.   I kept kosher and like so many other people I found that my husband and son  thought that they could not survive without pasta or Cheerios for 8 days.  So, I gave in,  I bought the Pesach version of pasta (yuck!) and the Pesach version of Cheerios (3 or four times the price per volume!) and found they were not very good.

I found some basic steps I could take to minimize the expense by avoiding the prepared or convenience items which I rarely use anyway and maximize the taste by using more fresh products.So, no cake mixes.  No paying extra for broken matzoh (crumble it yourself if you need to!). Enjoy my brownie recipe using potato starch rather than flour!

First, think in terms of the Mediterranean diet or the Oriental diets.  More vegetables, prepared different ways alongside smaller portions of proteins for dinners especially during the week. I love roasted vegetables (white and sweet potatoes, zucchini and more) alongside roasted or baked chicken as well as a stir fry of onion, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini and yellow squash and more.  There is always salads like spinach with strawberry to spice things up.

Secondly, think a bit of flexibility on your menus. Burgers don’t need fillers such as matzoh meal or bread crumbs.  Without that, they don’t need the egg t hold it together. Mix the ground beef with chopped onions and garlic and shape the burgers into sliders. Bake, grill or fry as normally would and enjoy!  You can also add herbs in the mixture as you choose!

Thirdly, since my husband is now Gluten-Free as we found out he has Celiac I prepare his food without wheat. We love to make potatoes several ways.  I make potato kugel (with or without carrots, zucchini or sweet potatoes for color), I make mashed potatoes with sauteed onion (using olive oil and no dairy or dairy substitute).  Now according to many authorities quinoa is acceptable during Passover!! Hooray as we love it.

If you are in the area of Palm Beach County, Florida you can hire ChefHelen as your Personal Chef.  ChefHelen can do the shopping for menus we have planned out together and prepare the meals in your home on YOUR equipment

 

Just call, email or text me to set up your free consultation.  Chef Helen Gottesman

561-676-2078 .chefhelen@helenshomecooking.com

Check out my website at http://www.helenshomecooking.com

#matzo #KOSHERCHEF #Pesach #Passover #Recipes

 

 

 

Rosh HaShanah Dishes for the Soul

6 Sep

Rosh Hashana inspires dishes for the soul

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Personal chef Helen Gottesman of Helen’s Home Cooking prepares a kosher holiday meal. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Before Helen Gottesman looks into the depths of the new year, she glances back to remember the sweetest, most flavorful dishes of her childhood.

Rosh Hashana inspires dishes for the soul photo

The most vivid culinary memory of Rosh Hashanas past: Pflaumenkuchen, her Czech-German grandmother’s special plum tart.

“I remember the smell of the plums. My mother made a couple of dishes wonderfully, and one of them was my grandmother’s plum tart. She would use Italian prune plums. They came into season shortly before Rosh Hashana – and it was a short season,” recalls Gottesman, a New York native who works as a personal chef in Boynton Beach.

This is the great motif of Gottesman’s home cooking – comfort foods that pay homage to family memories. And as the Jewish New Year begins at sunset tonight, ushering in 10 days of reflection and repentance, she will greet it with prayer, introspection and kosher dishes reminiscent of her younger years in the Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood of Queens.

Rosh Hashana inspires dishes for the soul photo

“We would always have the matzo ball soup and, typically, challah,” says Gottesman, 55, who now bakes eight loaves of traditional challah bread at a time.

Helen Gottesman prepares her plum tart (or pflaumen kuchen). (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

And because Rosh Hashana exalts the sweetest of foods – as in honey-dipped apples to beckon happiness – there was always a piece of that ­fragrant, open-face plum tart, a culinary prayer for a sweet life.

Today, in accordance with her Orthodox Jewish faith, Gottesman keeps a kosher kitchen. But “kitchen” is a movable notion for a woman who turned a love of cooking Shabbat dinner for friends – and a knowledge of nutrition and kosher standards – into a small enterprise she calls Helen’s Home Cooking ( helenshomecooking.com).

Usually, she cooks in other people’s kitchens.

“Because I focus on kosher cooking and I keep kosher myself, I’m aware that people are particular about anything that comes into their house,” says Gottesman, who shares her home with husband. Robert, an educator, and 16-year-old son, Adir.

So when she cooked an early Rosh Hashana dinner at a friend’s home on a recent weeknight, Gottesman worked with fresh ingredients her friend had shopped for and brought only the items her friend was missing. While other mobile chefs may carry their own knives and trusty spice kits, she used her friend’s cooking vessels and kitchen utensils.

On the menu that day: one soul-warming comfort dish after another. She roasted a chicken with sweet potatoes, white potatoes and carrots, a sweet noodle kugel with sugar and apples, a batch of almond-flecked green beans, a steaming pot of matzo ball soup and her grandmother’s plum tart.

It’s the kind of cooking that stirs easy conversation with friends and clients.

“If I’m in their kitchen, I hear their food stories, what they like and what they don’t, what their idea of comfort food is. For some, it’s lasagna. You never know. It all depends where and how they grew up,” says Gottesman.

She says a lot of her clients are seniors who don’t cook for themselves anymore. “And they don’t like the takeout places. Typically, what they want is the comfort foods they grew up with,” says the chef.

She dreams of opening a healthy kosher café one day, “a place of coffee, homemade breads and vegetarian items.” But for now she cooks wherever a kitchen welcomes her.

“I love cooking,” says Gottesman. “When I start cooking, I can get a little carried away and my husband tells me, ‘Don’t you realize there are only three of us in this house?'”

PFLAUMENKUCHEN (PLUM TART) WITH MUERBETEIG DOUGH CRUST

TO MAKE THE CRUST:

1 cup margarine

3 cups flour

2 egg yolks

1 lemon

1/4 cup sugar

Cream margarine and sugar, add flour then egg yolks along with grated rind of lemon along with the juice. Chill dough for at least half an hour and then pat into large pie tin with fingers.

TO MAKE THE PLUM TART:

Muerbeteig dough

6-9 Italian prune plums

1 teaspoon sugar

Cut plums into eighths and place them skin side down in the pie pan starting with the outside going halfway up the side. When all of the space is covered, sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 30 minutes at 350º. Tart is done when crust is lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before serving.

ROAST CHICKEN WITH VEGETABLES

Serve with vegetables on the side.

1 chicken cut into eighths or serving size pieces

1 large sweet potato or 2 medium, peeled and cut into chunks

2 white potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 large onion sliced or cut into chunks

1 zucchini, sliced

Garlic, a few cloves

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced or diced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Paprika, to taste

In a roasting pan place bed of vegetables and mix them up and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, top with chicken pieces skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and paprika.

Place in preheated 350º oven. After 30 minutes, turn chicken pieces over and sprinkle salt and pepper and paprika on the chicken if you have not already done so. When this is done (it will be browned) turn chicken pieces back to skin side up and cook for another 30 minutes. (Cooking time is about 1 hour, 15 minutes to 11/2 hours.)

STRING BEANS ALMONDINE

1 to 11/2 pounds string beans

1 tablespoon margarine

1/4 cup almonds, slivered or sliced

1/4 red pepper, slivered

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut tips off string beans. Either leave beans whole or slice into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Place into boiling salted water until they are tender, but still bright green in color.

Drain the string beans. In the same pot, melt margarine and lightly sauté almonds. Add red pepper and cook to soften slightly. Then add the string beans to heat through.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon, and serve.

Recipes by Helen Gottesman, helenshomecooking.com

MICHELLE BERNSTEIN’S WHOLE STRIPED BASS WITH ARTICHOKES AND FENNEL

1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced in rings

2 (1.5 pound) whole bass, gutted and scales removed, cleaned

1/4 cup olive oil

Zest of 1 lemon, reserve juice

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon zahtar (a sesame seed-based Middle Eastern spice blend)

1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped

1/2 cup dill, chopped

8 plum tomatoes, quartered

2 artichokes, trimmed of outer leaves, cut in quarters

1 fennel bulb, cut in small diced pieces

Preheat oven to 375º.

Place the onion in a single layer onto a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the fish in a large bowl and add the oil, lemon zest, fennel seeds, garlic, zahtar, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Mix well. Place the fish over the onions, reserve the oil and spices in the bowl.

Place the tomatoes around the fish, as well as artichokes and fennel bulb. Drizzle the reserved oil and spices over the fish and vegetables.

Cover the pan with aluminum and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the aluminum and raise the heat to 400º. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Check doneness of the artichokes, if they are tender they are ready, if not, remove the fish carefully with a spatula and set aside covered to keep warm and cook the rest of the vegetables until the artichokes are tender.

MICHELLE BERNSTEIN’S CHICKEN SOUP

(Serves 4 to 6)

1 chicken, about 4 pounds, skinned, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 6 pieces (2 legs, 2 thighs, and 2 breasts)

2 cups minced Spanish onion

1 cup finely diced celery

1 cup finely diced carrots

1 bay leaf

About 4 quarts chicken broth

1 cup finely diced chayote (small green squash popular in Latin American cooking)

11/2 cups peeled sweet potato, medium dice (from about 1 large potato)

2 medium ears of corn, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

1 cup dill leaves

1 teaspoon habanero pepper, or jalapeño, minced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems

1 lime, quartered or cut into sixths (1 wedge per person)

Salt and pepper

Put the chicken, onion, celery, carrots, and bay leaf in a large stock pot and cover with cold chicken broth or cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, moist, and tender, about 1 hour. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Add the chayote, sweet potato, corn, dill, and habanero to the pot. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked, about 30 minutes.

Shred the cooled chicken meat by hand and return it to the pot. Stir in the cilantro and cook for about 5 minutes to rewarm the chicken and further develop the flavor. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into 4 to 6 bowls, making sure to get a good mix of vegetables in each bowl. Serve with a wedge of lime.

CHEF ALLEN’S EXOTIC SPICE BRAISED BRISKET

(Serves 6)

5 pounds brisket, first cut, well marbled

4 tablespoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced carrots

3 large cloves garlic, smashed

4 sprigs fresh thyme

3 sticks cinnamon

3 stars of star anise

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

1 large orange, cut in eighths

3 teaspoons bitters

2 tablespoons good tomato paste

1 bottle pinot noir (use kosher wine for a kosher recipe)

To prepare the brisket: Rub the brisket with 3 tablespoons salt and set aside in a dish for 1 hour. Rinse the salt off under running cold water and pat dry. Place a heavy braising pan over high heat. Drizzle in the olive oil. Carefully add the brisket and sear the first side for 2-3 minutes. Turn the beef with a meat tong and brown the second side for another 4-5 minutes. To braise the brisket: Preheat the oven to 325º. Remove the brisket from the pan to a platter. Add the vegetables, spices and orange to the pan. Stir in the bitters and tomato paste. Place the beef on top of the braising mixture and add enough wine to cover the meat by a good 2-3 inches.( You may add more wine or water.) Cover the braising pan with a lid or tightly with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven. Slowly braise with the cover on for 3 hours until fork tender.

To serve the brisket: Remove the braised beef from the oven and place on a cutting board. Let the brisket rest for a good 5 minutes before attempting to slice. Skim the fat from the braising liquid, and remove the cinnamon sticks. Check the seasoning and add salt if necessary. Spoon the vegetables and pan juices into a gravy boat. Now carefully cut the beef across the grain in short thick slices. Serve with pan juice

Gluten Free “blondies” for Pesach

12 Jan

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Since my husband has Celiac and can’t eat wheat, I was making brownies with potato starch and tried several recipes. Then, hubby decided no more chocolate or cocoa!

 

I looked over other brownie recipes and came up with this  which is enough for a small brownie pan.  It would be doubled or tripled for a 13 by 9 pan.

 

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2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3cup oil
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Beat eggs lightly, add oil, and mis again. then potato starch and coconut and add to greased paN, bAKE IN OVEN AT 350 FOR 20T 25 MIN UNTIL GOLDEN BrOWN . cool.cut and enjoy

Chef Helen Gottesman
561-676-2078 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 561-676-2078 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
helen@helenshomecooking.com helenshomecooking.com

Gluten Free Brownies ..One-Dish

8 Jan

I found this recipe when preparing for Passover/Pesach years ago..  So easy and requested all year.  the potato starch is best to buy right after Passover when it goes on sale!  Requested weekly by my husband who is Gluten-Free

Passover Brownies

3 eggs

sugar

oil

potato starch

cocoa

chopped nuts such as walnuts optional

chcoolate chips optional

raspberry jam optional

 

even better with coconut!!

Local black friday deals

21 Nov

On Black Friday shop locally!  If you live in South Florida order meals for your self or someone special with a gift certificate.. Any amount and you can pay with Paypal!

http://www.helenshomecooking.com

561-676-2078

Thanksgiving Dinner Prep

21 Nov

Today,I prepped most of the food to bring to dinner tomorrow. So far,Roast turkey, already carved.  Stuffing, two types of cranberry sauce, twice baked sweet potatoes,roast  vegetables , gluten etables-free brownies, soon apple crisp, soon curried carrots, steamed green beans ( finishing with margarine, garlic and pecans at her kitchen).  potato kugel,

Still have to finish the gravy and biscuits…..

 

OOh there’s also chocolate pecan pie. yum

Chef Helen

561-676-2078

www.helenshomecooking.com

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